This contains no policy changes or proposals, it simply attempts
to document the interfaces and conventions already in place.
 Documentation/technical/api-command.txt |   81 +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
 1 file changed, 81 insertions(+)
 create mode 100644 Documentation/technical/api-command.txt

diff --git a/Documentation/technical/api-command.txt 
new file mode 100644
index 0000000..de76614
--- /dev/null
+++ b/Documentation/technical/api-command.txt
@@ -0,0 +1,81 @@
+= Integrating new subcommands =
+This is how-to documentation for people who want to add extension
+commands to git.  It should be read alongside api-builtin.txt.
+== Runtime environment ==
+git subcommands are standalone executables that live in the git
+execution directory, normally /usr/lib/git-core.  The git executable itself
+is a thin wrapper that sets GIT_DIR and passes command-line arguments
+to the subcommand.
+(If "git foo" is not found in the git execution directory, the wrapper
+will look in the rest of your $PATH for it.  Thus, it's possible
+to write local git extensions that don't live in system space.)
+== Implementation languages ==
+Most subcommands are written in C or shell.  A few are written in
+Perl.  A tiny minority are written in Python.
+While we strongly encourage coding in portable C for portability, these
+specific scripting languages are also acceptable. We won't accept more
+without a very strong technical case, as we don't want to broaden the
+git suite's required dependencies.
+C commands are normally written as single modules, named after the
+command, that link a core library called libgit.  Thus, your command
+'git-foo' would normally be implemented as a single "git-foo.c"; this
+organization makes it easy for people reading the code to find things.
+See the CodingGuidelines document for other guidance on what we consider
+good practice in C and shell, and api-builtin.txt for the support
+functions available to built-in commands written in C.
+== What every extension command needs ==
+You must have a man page, written in asciidoc (this is what git help
+followed by your subcommand name will display).  Be aware that there is
+a local asciidoc configuration and macros which you should use.  It's
+often helpful to start by cloning an existing page and replacing the
+text content.
+You must have a test, written to report in TAP (Test Anything Protocol).
+Tests are executables (usually shell scripts) that live in the 't' 
+subdirectory of the tree.  Each test name begins with 't' and a sequence
+number that controls where in the test sequence it will be executed;
+conventionally the rest of the name stem is that of the command 
+being tested.
+Read the file t/README to learn more about the conventions to be used
+in writing tests, and the test support library.
+== Integrating a command ==
+Here are the things you need to do when you want to merge a new 
+subcommand into the git tree.
+1. Append your command name to one of the variables BUILTIN_OBJS,
+2. Drop its test in the t directory.
+3. If your command is implemented in an interpreted language with a 
+p-code intermediate form, make sure .gitignore in the main directory
+includes a pattern entry that ignores such files.  Python .pyc and
+.pyo files will already be covered.
+4. If your command has any dependency on a a particular version of
+your language, document it in the INSTALL file.
+5. There is a file command-list.txt in the distribution main directory
+that categorizes commands by type, so they can be listed in appropriate
+subsections in the documentation's summary command list.  Add an entry 
+for yours.  To understand the categories, look at git-cmmands.txt
+in the main directory.
+6. When your patch is merged, remind the maintainer to add something
+about it in the RelNotes file.
+That's all there is to it.

                <a href="";>Eric S. Raymond</a>

"Rightful liberty is unobstructed action, according to our will, within limits
drawn around us by the equal rights of others."
        -- Thomas Jefferson
To unsubscribe from this list: send the line "unsubscribe git" in
the body of a message to
More majordomo info at

Reply via email to